By JOHN T. WARD
Will the owners of a brand-new, ready-to-open bagel store get the OK for the walk-in refrigerator they need to operate? Will the owners of a former downtown firehouse get the green light to build a restaurant there? Will a new Asian eatery be allowed in a former mattress store?
Those three questions loom over Monday night’s Red Bank planing board agenda.
An architectural rendering shows the former Liberty Hose firehouse as a restaurant, above. Below, the former storefront at 132 Broad Street is the subject of a request for an Asian restaurant called Red Lanter. (Rendering by Mike Simpson. Photo below by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
• At Broad Street and Maple Avenue, the smell of fresh-made bagels is already in the air as Hot Bagels Brooklyn’s Finest owners Nikos Zaires and Mike Gambale conduct run-throughs of their first-ever business venture.
Their restaurant has a temporary certitficate of occupancy and is ready to open, they say, except for one thing: a walk-in refrigerator. Because of a “miscommunication,” said Zaires, he and his partner find themselves having to appear before the board on a crowded agenda, hoping for an approval that will allow them to install the fridge on a concrete pad that’s ready to hold it.
Zaires said he doesn’t want to think about what happens if the approval doesn’t come through. Their restaurant is otherwise set to open, he said, complete with marked parking spaces and a couple of tables inside.
Over the years, the property has seen numerous auto-based uses: as a filling station, repair shop, a used Mercedes dealership, a motor scooter shop. It was briefly home to a gold-buying business before reverting to use as a luxury used-car lot.
In 2010, a group led by a Morganville man bought and won borough planning board approval to install an Italian deli there. But that plan never went through.
• Also back on the agenda is the former Liberty Hose firehouse at 40 White Street, where Michael Morgan Sr. and sons are hoping to obtain permission to create a restaurant on the first floor and two apartments on the second. See redbankgreen‘s February 19 article for more details.
• 132 Broad Street, two men from north Jersey hope to establish a sushi restaurant called Red Lantern. Yen Chung of Parsippany and and Ke Ha Du of Harrison will need variances to convert the retail storefront to primary food use and for parking, with 25 spaces required and none provided, according to the borough planning office. Long vacant, the space was last rented to Monmouth Mattress.
The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at borough hall, 90 Monmouth Street. Here’s the detailed agenda.